Maybe you’ve noticed the cat people in your life being a bit weird. They never want to do what you want to do. They rarely come over. And when they do, they always have something controversial to say.

Or perhaps you are that cat person and you’ve always felt a bit out of step with the people around you, or had trouble finding others who share your interests. Maybe you’ve been criticized for not being more sociable and outgoing.

But is there any truth to this? Are cat people really different from dog people and pet-less people? Or is it all a hoax? We decided to find out by looking at the science behind it and figuring out the top 5 personality traits of cat people.

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The Psychology Of Cat People

Psychologists have long taken an interest in the connection between people’s personalities and their preferences for different pets. One of such studies (Gosling, Sandy and Potter; 2010) focuses specifically on the Big Five personality traits that are commonly used in Western psychology. These are: neuroticism, conscientiousness, extravertedness, openness and agreeableness.

They compared the results of personality tests taken by self-identified dog people, cat people, people who like both cats and dogs, and people who don’t like either. I would have guessed that those last ones would be the weird ones, but I would have been wrong.

As it turns out, dog people, dog-and-cat people and no-pet people all score pretty much the same on most personality traits. There are no significant differences between them in terms of how they view the world and their place in it, or how they relate to other human beings.

Cat people, however, are a completely different story. They do show significant differences in personality compared to all other groups. And as it happens, their most prominent traits all kind of fall into the “socially awkward” category. Let’s go over them one by one.

Top 5 Personality Traits Of Cat People

Cat people are…

More Indoorsy

Cat people generally show higher degrees of neuroticism than dog people and people without pets. This means we have a stronger reaction to stressful situations, which could include anything from simply needing to interact with other people to unexpected life-changing events. As a result, our moods seem to change with the direction of the wind.

These mood swings are exhausting to ourselves and to the people around us. To make life easier for everyone, we like to limit our risk of encountering any potential stressors by staying in our safe space, at home with our equally neurotic cats.

Cat people are basically always in nesting mode. So if you’re planning an event involving your cat loving friends, and you actually want them to come, make sure it takes place indoors somewhere cozy and warm. Or, even better, just host it at their house.

The good thing is, that this particular trait makes it very easy to find a birthday or Christmas gift for a cat person. Comfy blankets are always a hit, as are pyjamas or anything sleepwear related (check out these adorable cat slippers! 😻). And if you really want to secure a place in our hearts, you’ll think of our cats too.

More Individualistic

Cats are known to be very individualistic creatures. And so are their owners. Compared to dog people, cat people are less conscientious and therefore more likely to go against what is considered socially acceptable. We like to feel things out as they come along rather than plan out every detail. Anything that imposes structure on our internal chaos feels like it is working against us.

We don’t necessarily need a lot of people around us to enjoy ourselves and feel fulfilled. As a matter of fact, most cat people actually find it stressful to be around others. Just like our anxious cats. Because of that, we might lose sight of what is happening around us at times and may come across as more self-involved.

This can be a challenge if you are friends with a cat person and you’re trying to build a connection with them. If this is you, please remember that despite our individualistic and, at times, absent nature, we thoroughly appreciate the time we do spend with our friends and family. We just need more time to do our own thing in between.

More Introverted

Given that cat people are socially awkward hermits, it should come as no surprise that we also have more introverted personalities. Instead of talking things over with other people, we prefer to think them through ourselves. Or to discuss it with our cats. They are the best listeners, after all.

Cats are a logical choice of pet for someone who is introverted. Dogs are very high maintenance compared to cats. Dogs naturally draw you out of your shell (and your house), while cats will just lay around and do their own thing for most of the day. They might demand a spot on your lap or a little playtime every now and then, but that’s it for most cats.

If you are dealing with something internally, a cat will give you the space to do that in peace. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that just being around a cat is actually good for your health. Their purr has the power to calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure. On top of that, petting a cat releases endorphins that will help you get out of your funk.

Does your cat actively contribute to your mental health and wellbeing? If so, you might want to consider getting them certified as an Emotional Support Animal. This way, if you ever need to travel or go through any stressful situation where normal pets aren’t allowed, it will be much easier for you to take them with you for support.

More Bookish

While cat people are sitting in their warm, comfy houses minding their own business, they like to read. Cat people show higher degrees of openness than dog people and people who don’t like pets. This means that cat people are more creative, more imaginative and have a stronger urge to acquire new knowledge.

While a dog person might think of reading as the most boring activity ever, a cat person will likely regard it as a highly valuable use of their time. And on the rare occasions that we do leave our houses and meet our friends, we like to discuss all that we have read about.

Small talk is generally wasted on cat people. We don’t enjoy it and aren’t very good at it. But give us a meaty topic to discuss and we will talk your ears off for hours.

A Bit Snobbish

An unfortunate side effect of being cooped up in your own house all the time, not relating to other human beings, is that your views can get a bit skewed. Let’s face it, it’s easy to get convinced of your own superiority when there is no one around to challenge it.

Cat people score lower on agreeableness, which is the urge to be around and help support others. Compared to dog people, cat people also tend to rate themselves more favorably.

So, yes, cat people can be a bit snobbish. About themselves and their pets. You often hear cat people say that cats are smarter than dogs. I admittedly have said it quite often myself, fully convinced that I was right, even though I had no actual proof. Because there was no proof. Cats are not smarter than dogs. Except for my cat, of course. She’s a genius, like me. 😜